Since June, my part of Pennsylvania’s been hit with one heat wave after another, all the way to August, when it’s just generally HOT. For us, a heat wave means temps in the high ‘90s for more than a few days, and we broke 100 quite often. Also, on top of the heat, we typically have very high humidity.
For me, this has meant being stuck inside or darting from air conditioner to air conditioner. But I figured out some tricks that made it bearable that I thought I’d share.
Airy, broad-rimmed hats: If you can’t find shade, create your own with a summery hat. I wear one anytime I work in the garden, even if the day’s “just” in the high ‘70s and low ‘80s. It makes a huge difference. I’m not sure of the science involved, but I think, in addition to shielding from the heat of the sun, it allows for the sweat to condense and cool.
Cooling vests: As longtime readers know, I bought a cooling vest a few years ago, but don’t like it because it looks dorky. In fact, I still call it my ‘dork vest.’ It’s water activated, and despite what the company’s website tells you, it leaks. The older it gets the more it leaks. But you know what else it does? It works. I was able to putter around in the garden and not lose too many abilities while doing so. I have used other cooling clothing, too, but the vest works the best.
Take a shower first: I just learned about this one this summer, I think I saw it in an MS Society e-mail. If we take a cool shower before we do something outside, it can actually help keep our core temp down for up to four hours. I’ve tried this, and it does seem to work.
Drink LOTS of water: It’s too easy to get dehydrated on summer days, so we need to drink much more than usual. Not having enough water can make us feel fatigued, and when we get fatigued, those nasty symptoms pop up. Plus, water is cooling.
Anyway, we’ve made it to August, but the heat’s not over yet. So stay cool, my friends.
Good tips Josie. I find T10 paralysis also makes me much more intolerant of the heat. I 2nd your opinion of LOTS of water--enough to keep urine in the clear to straw colored range. I also find a cooling neck band (the neck version of cooling vest) works great. For a cheap version--simply take a bunch of ice cubes and wrap them in a bandana. I started with this and when I found out how well it worked I paid the $7 bucks for the cooling neck band at my local camping/sports store.